Masks, masks and more masks questions...
Yes. The CDC says that we cannot require someone to wear a mask if there’s a medical reason they are unable to do so, and that businesses should not request a doctor’s note, either.
According to the EEOC, an employee may request “reasonable accommodation under the ADA (e.g., non-latex gloves, modified face masks for interpreters or others who communicate with an employee who uses lip reading [...]) or a religious accommodation under Title VII (such as modified equipment due to religious garb).” The employer should “discuss the request and provide the modification or an alternative if feasible and not an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business under the ADA or Title VII.”
Yes, but only if they have a legitimate medical reason that they are unable to wear a mask. Face shields don’t do as good a job at preventing airborne droplets from escaping someone’s nose and mouth, so they’re not preferable to a face mask. But if an employee has a valid medical reason (though we can’t ask for doctors’ notes) for not wearing a mask, a face shield is better than no face covering at all.
For those who wear glasses, we highly recommend face masks with some sort of wire nosepiece. When worn properly and tightly fitting across the bridge of the nose, a mask with a wire nosepiece should not fog up glasses.
Also, washing your glasses with soap and water creates a protective film that may help prevent fogging.
Yes, unfortunately in most cases that person needs to be excluded again. The only exception might be if a person had full, classic COVID-19 symptoms and was told by a doctor that they were a presumed positive, but wasn’t able to get tested. In most cases, employees haven’t seen a doctor and don’t have all of the classic symptoms, so we have to assume that they might have had the flu, a cold, some other illness, etc. And the timeline of their family members becoming sick many weeks later doesn’t track with what we know about how easily this virus spreads - so we want to exercise caution and keep the employee out another 14 days.
Well…. No. Here’s some new guidance from the CDC and it suggests we shouldn’t be wearing them while grocery shopping or doing other errands. Handwashing remains best practice.
This is a great piece about what we know and can expect, which, in short, is a “very, very messy” ending.